At the sound of the tone
Darko pretty much captures every customer's perception of dealing with the Verizon corporation. Add to that the piling on of charges which nobody can interpret, and continuing to put "long distance" charges on services that cost nobody a thing except the hapless customer. We considered not even bothering to get a telephone when we moved to our new place two years ago. But of course, the reason the phone company has customers at all is lack of choice -- we had to have a phone line to get DSL service, which we had to get to do our work at home (which we have to do for many reasons). But no longer: now we have switched the DSL to "dedicated line" service (also called "naked DSL," but if you do not believe that I am fully dressed as I write this just check the Boston weather report). Our VOIP phone works over it, so no dealing with the phone company at all. Our former phone number is now a mobile phone, so all those people who have the old number can still reach us. I just heard a story on NPR detailing why two million users have done the same. It takes some doing to wear down a lifetime of loyalty to the phone company, but it looks like inaccessibility, indifference, and exploitation can compensate for a whole lot of regulatory protection.